'Orange Is The New Black' Star Dascha Polanco Fights Assault Charge in Court

Dascha Polanco

Say it ain't so, Dayanora! Word has leaked that one of my favorite Orange Is The New Black actors, Dascha Polanco, was arrested back in July for allegedly assaulting a teen girl, and she just made an appearance in court to fight the charges.

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The scoop is that Polanco, 33, who plays Dayanora Diaz on the show, got arrested back on July 29 after she allegedly attacked 17-year-old Michelle Cardona. The arrest papers accuse Polanco of texting the younger girl to come over to Polanco's apartment, and then punching and scratching the teen and and pulling her hair.

But! Cardona's lawyer says the whole thing was a "set-up" that was "tape-recorded" and designed to get money out of Polanco. He used the word "extortion," and says he's confident the charges will be dropped.

Dang! I hate to state the obvious, but it sounds like a plot line from an Orange In The New Black episode! This whole mess is such a shame. One of the things that makes OITNB such an incredible, groundbreaking show is that it's given so many awesome roles to a truly diverse group of women. And when I say diverse, I mean diverse -- how many other shows portray older women who, gasp, have actual wrinkles? Or trans women? Or gay women? Or women who are nuns? Or women who are anything other than young, thin, and white?

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I'm not saying that Polanco -- or any of the cast members -- should behave in any special way as some sort of representatives for diversity. No way. But, I will say that it bums me out to see Polanco get into this kind of trouble. From other interviews I've read, she has worked really hard -- her life hasn't been easy. Polanco was a teenage, single mom, and she's been candid about her struggle with depression after her own mom passed away.

Obviously I wasn't there, and haven't reviewed the evidence, but it's so hard to believe Polanco is capable of randomly attacking someone. I love her portrayal of the vulnerable, yet oh-so-strong Dayanora, and I hope she gets this mess cleared up so she can keep going in the long and illustrious career she deserves.

 

Image via MACGYVER / Splash News

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